Monday, December 22, 2008

La Paz

In The Log From the Sea of Cortez, Steinbeck wrote in 1941: "La Paz grew in fascination as we approached. The square, iron-shuttered colonial houses stood up right in back of the beach with rows of beautiful trees in front of them. It is a lovely place."

It is so lovely that I think many boaters just wash up here and never leave. There seem to be a lot of extremely relaxed people in flip flops, strolling back and forth on the docks; their boats look like they haven't been sailed for years.

I have already fallen under its sway and find I can sit on the deck watching Pelicans for hours, doing face plants, fishing just a stone's throw from our boat. I never get tired of watching them come up, their fleshy lower beaks full of squirming fish. In the morning they sun and preen on these nearby pilings.

A curious bird is the pelican

its beak can hold more than its belican (Ogden Nash)

There are wonderful bronze sculptures along the waterfront. I love this one. It's called El Viejo y el Mar? The Old Man and the Sea?
There is a poem with it. I've translated it (crudely)

I have a paper boat.
It's made of a page
on which I wrote my dreams.
It has no anchors or moorings.
I want to sail the seven seas and the eighth
where I will run aground in the longed for port.
Has anyone seen the bright beam of its lighthouse?

Guillermo Gomez Mac 2004


elain genser said...

i am loving your travels... i check every day. You have heard, no doubt, that we are totally immersed in over a foot of snow, all over the island. I am still more or less housebound as my leg is healing slowly, slowly. Have a wonderful holiday with your family..

Alison Watt said...

thanks so much Elain. It's so nice to know you are there, popping in to the blog. Just in to La Paz and haven't had much computer time. What have you done to your leg?
sounds like a good time to hunker down and paint...
xo Alison

materfamilias said...

Lovely -- thanks for sharing. And thanks, as well, for the beautiful painting Paul surprised me with yesterday -- I can't believe he kept your secret for so long, and can hardly believe my good fortune to receive such a wonderful, thoughtful gift from you. I'll be posting a photo of it on my blog in the next few days and you can see what a perfect spot we've found for it (Had to remind Paul that it was MY painting and that I got to cast the deciding vote!)
Hope the kids have arrived safely now and that you're having a festive time together -- we're trying to escape to Vanc'r today in between snowstorms.
love, Frances

Anonymous said...

Hi Alison-- You are so smart to be there, not here. We are in North Vancouver where there is about 3 feet of snow outside and now it's raining. It is supposed to rain and snow, rain and snow, for the next several days, and then it will freeze and freeze and freeze.

It was tricky getting off P.I. with all that snow but the island looked magical. And there were lovely moments, as when 25 carolers turned up at the door on a snowy evening.

Despite the inclement weather we had a lovely Christmas with the Alison and Alex and Charlotte, and had dinners and drop in visits from valiant family members like Darcy and Ross and the West Van cousins. And it was all very beautiful.

We're heading downtown to the apartment soon and don't know when we will go back to the island. (Maybe Sophie should think twice about returning to Victoria until spring comes?)

Hope your holidays are lots of fun -- how could it be otherwise? And of course you will have a splendid new year full of adventures.

Love to you all,

Brigitte said...

dear Kim and Alison, leas années se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas !Those last days I kept thinking of the four of you on the boat and remembers the wonderful Christmas lunch we had with you one year ago. Laura, Alex and I very often mention those charming, fascinating and "exotic" hours we spent together. I love your "viejo hombre con el mar", the sculpture and the poem. Lots of love to the four of you bbb

Alison Watt said...

I'm so glad you like the painting. It is a thank-you for many things, not the least of which is your support of my art over the years.

glad you managed to get off the island and over to Vancouver for time with Alison and family. The snow on the north shore must have been something. L and S arrived a day late, but three beautiful days out on one of the islands here washed away all the exhaustion. I hope you and Mike enjoy the rest of the holidays and see the new year in with light hearts.

Brigitte and Laura
yes, wonderful memories of last Christmas. We would have been snowbound if it had been this year--Protection Island has lots of snow. You can see some pictures on Materfamilias' blog. Love to you both and Happy New Year

Narama said...

What an escape to read your blog, while here in Knight Inlet we are shovelling snow to keep the place floating. It is still coming down! We have had visits from White-sided Dolphins and a few sealions, but not a human for weeks.

Your poem translation gave me shivers, I really loved it. Happy New Year to you all!

Alison Watt said...

I was wondering how it was going up there! You must be getting lots of reading donw (between shovelling snow and rain). Any painting? Love to you both...